After he suffered what Mariners trainers called a "lower back cramp" during last week's start against the Royals, Felix Hernandez has apparently been dealing with pain for longer than anyone would like to admit.
As a result, the Mariners have scratched him from Wednesday's scheduled start against the Astros. It is the second consecutive start that Felix has missed, as his Sunday game was also pushed back for precautionary measures. Then, on Saturday, there was more stiffness in a flat-ground throwing session, so they decided to just wait.
Official word is that the issue isn't serious, and according to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the move is primarily a precautionary measure to ensure the 26 year old doesn't inflame a minor injury, creating a major issue. We should apparently hear more from Eric Wedge before tonight's game.
It's always scary to hear about moves in the abstract like this, especially when they involve someone like Felix. But as tight-lipped as the Mariners usually are about these things, it sounds like this isn't anything too serious. It's not an arm issue, it's thankfully not an elbow thing, and it's September. We all want to see Felix pitch his remaining starts simply so we have something to usher us into not-baseball-time, but Felix in 2014 is a lot more important than Felix in September 2013.
Get well soon, King.
UPDATE 4:56 PM: Ryan Divish has identified the injury as a "slight oblique strain," while confirming the rotation going through the rest of the week on twitter: